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Tobacco Funds Come To County

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The Tuolumne County supervisors gave the go-ahead to take $6.9 million of revenue from tobacco securitization program and apply the funds to buy new equipment for various county agencies.

The money is coming to the county coffers in one lump sum from the sale of tobacco litigation settlement bonds.

During this morning’s board meeting, County administrators Brent Wallace and Craig Pedro outlined what the county will purchase with the money.

Tuolumne General Hospital will receive the lion’s share, nearly $2 million for equipment and plant improvements.

The county sheriffs department will receive $1.2 million for a new radio system. One million dollars is earmarked to purchase four new class-3 fire engines, and county road department will get $1.3 million for new equipment to be purchased with the tobacco funds. A new county-wide phone system, as well as general fund equipment and improvements are also included in the spending plan.

Pedro says the funds are to be repaid, at 4 percent interest, over a five-year period by the departments within the county, and those dollars will be applied to repay the TGH cash deficit.